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April 07, 2006


Jake - but not the one

clarice, what does "MMFOOHS" mean? I looked it up, or tried to look it up. No go.

Jake - but not the one

I have no more influence over our elected officials than do you, Cecil. I say, go for it.


clarice, what does "MMFOOHS" mean? I looked it up, or tried to look it up. No go.

I'm still wondering what "but not the one" means.

Cecil Turner

Personally, I could give a good crap. Considering the feckless posturing nonsense from the GOP majority, y'all can have Congress back. (More trouble than it's worth . . .)

Jake - but not the one

TS, it comes from one of the other places I read and sometimes comment; not a political blog. One of the posts was about a J, who was a Jake, so I signed my comment as Jake - but not that one. From there it kind of morphed into a riff on the Highlander combined with The Once and Future King along with the not-that-Jake riff. Hence, Jake - but not the one.


Jake - but not the one

Cecil, I heartily agree, and I include most of the Dems along with most of the Republicans.

Not all of either, just most.

Truthfully, I can't think of any specific Republicans, but I am sure that the odds are such that there are Republicans who are also good members of the House or Senate.

Cecil, are there any Republicans about whom you would say, "That member is doing a good job for this country?"


Cecil Turner

Cecil, are there any Republicans about whom you would say, "That member is doing a good job for this country?"

Several, actually (though I don't want to name them). And many I agree with on certain issues, but differ on others (which really isn't a big deal). But as a group, Congress, and especially the Senate, is blocking useful legislation whilst passing a bunch of window-dressing; and overspending to boot. It's broken, and I'm willing to see a change in either direction to shake up the pieces.



Barrack Obama recently took a net-roots hit for Lieberman support and fundraiser. I wonder if you realize that if he keeps that up, he and other Dems who follow his lead will win heartedly.


I just re-read this editorial, and find it as poorly written as one of my blog posts AND the editorial they wrote defending writing the NSA stories. I wonder if they let an angry intern write these things up. The word 'bogus' was actually used twice. Totally.

Anyway, the NYTs has decided it is against leaks and background talks. Lately, they refused to hold a discussion with Bush that was offered as background because they simply don't believe in background anymore.

Which is what makes this line from this editorial so hilarious:

"The intelligence report on Iraq, prepared in late 2002, has now been largely declassified. But the White House has kept secret a one-page summary prepared for Mr. Bush. According to The National Journal, that document said ...."

Oops! Are they quoting a secret, non-declassified document? How in the world did someone ever get that information?


Jake - but not that one says:

""I believe he is subject to the law wrt to FISA.""

Gee, Jake...I'm just guessing but I think Feingold is going to need more then "Jake believes so" as a basis.

Can you point to ANY factual judicial finding to back up your radical belief?

M. Simon


Steel tubing you can buy at Lowes could be used to make a very inefficient UF6 centrifuge. How likely is it?

I have looked at the evidence presented - the tubes exactly match the specs necessary for rockets. They are only marginally good for UF6 centrifuges.

I'd love to pin this one on Saddam. But, it just doesn't work for me.

Any way I'm glad he is gone - no matter what the reason.

In addition the CIA was pushing the centrifuge line hard (it should have been pushing the illegal line). Which indicates the analysis was not very robust. In this case the error is in our favor. Next time we may not be so lucky.

So to me what this point out is that the CIA technical analysis is shoddy. BTW these are the mopes that say Iran is 10 years from enough HEU to make a bomb.

So bad analysis cuts both ways.


And reviewing the record, the lefts attempts to win in court has not gone well either.

Between taking Bush to court over Abu Graib, the War, Hamdi, NSA, illegal combatant detention, etc. etc.



Hasn't the Judiciary's repeated ruling AGAINST the lefts view of the Constitution caused you any pause that you just may be wrong??

M. Simon

BTW why would you want a thinner wall on a centrifuge?

To cut down on start up electrical consumption and to improve the efficiency of separation.

Now we know the electrical grid in Iraq is not so robust.

And we know the Al tubes are marginally efficient for U235 separation to begin with.

i.e. more evidence against.

And then you have the missing inverters and special electrical motors matched to the inverters. Where are the magnetic bearings? etc.

BTW unlike Jake I'm all for improving the government of Iran by any means necessary.

I'm also down with massive improvements in CIA analysis.

It is very hard to keep your desires from affecting analysis. You can see it around here and over there a lot. I'm sure the CIA has similar problems. It is very hard to make judgements against interest. Which is why in areospace we try not to let coders test their own work. The tests tend to be less robust.

Me? I love busting my own work. Makes the end result more robust. However, I'm quite unusual in that respect.


Inspired by Nash, this is from Nittypig:

Even though it isn't really used that way, "the administration" includes all of the executive branch, so the statement is technically correct. Nash is clearly right. However, I'd be interested to see how often the NYT refers to the actions of CIA middle managers as being those of "the administration".

I think Nash is doing a fine job and makes a good point - since Bush gets some oxygen here when he delivers a technically accurate but misleading statement, as a general rule the NY Times *editors* (not reporters) ought to be allowed similar leeway. Politicians and editors can obfuscate when they ought to communicate.

However - in an update, I smite the Times anyway. In normal usage, the CIA is part of the government, not the Administration. CIA careerists are "government officials", not "Administration officials".

And everyone seems to agree - Wilson was sent by CIA careerists.

FWIW, the Times wrote this:

Mr. Wilson was sent by the administration to Niger.

Well, he didn't have 50,000 people wave good-bye at the airport - the people who actually sent him were not "Admin officials", so I think the Times is defying common usage here.

It might be worth checking their sourcing on their big Risen story from last Dec 16(IIRC?) - I'll bet their are lots of government officials.


Well, here is the Times lead from Dec 16:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Cecil Turner

Oops! Are they quoting a secret, non-declassified document? How in the world did someone ever get that information?

Someone leaked it to them illegally, of course. But the bigger issue is that it's just a one-page summary of the NIE findings on aluminum tubes; and a quick check of the NIE declassification shows those caveats were released. Waas apparently believes the context of the rest of the report needs to be stripped away, so just the tubes are left. Hard to see this as an honest argument.


The shift to the tubes is because Joe is so phony. There simply cannot be controversy about Joe when the facts are on the table. Not so about aluminum tubes.

This is all so ironic, when papers are being translated daily documenting Saddam's perfidy.

Jake - but not the one

In order for the tubes to be used in a Zippe type centrifuge, the mass of the tubes after they were cut approximately in half (to about 400 mm) was still much too high and the wall thickness much too great. In order to work in the design speculated at by the American expert, the wall thickness would had to have been reduced from 3.3 mm to about 1 mm.

All from the Isis article referenced earlier.


Jake - but not the one

TS, I wonder if you realize it isn't necessarily winning if voters replace Republicans with Democrats who look just like Republicans?


M. Simon


I think you are exactly correct.

It does appear that the analysis on the Al tubes was not robust. And, as I pointed out earlier in the thread - the Al tubes are a peripheral issue.

The grand strategic issue for me is that the ME neads an enema - the excuse (other than 9/11) is not an issue with me. Our friend Jake wants so bad to be a 9/10 kind of guy. Well you know - it is very hard to make judgements against interest. I wish it was still a 9/10 kind of wold myself. The kind of world where who is BJing the President is the most important question in the world.


cecil: "Someone leaked it to them illegally, of course. But the bigger issue"

Of course. You know I'm not going for the bigger issue. My small minded pettyness was just pointing out that in an editorial decrying Bush for "leaking" classified information, they quote classified information that had been leaked to them. I kind of find that hilarious.


Jake BNTO, MMFOOHA is my shorthand for Maybe Monkeys Flew Out Of His Ass, and it is how I describe a hypothesis or assertion which has little to do with the known facts of an issue and even less to do with a likely probability of the events in question.


C'mon, MayBee, that wasn't leaked to them; it was disclosed.


Fitz seemed to send out an SOS to his friends in the media and his party. This filing was clearly an attempt to get the left refocused on this silly case.

I am now convinced that Fitz will seek the indictment of Rove at a politically opportune time.

Of course, the President will not be able to respond to an ongoing investigation and the media will quote Bush's "dignified investigation" remark.

This is infuriating. When John Ashcroft announced the arrest of the dirty bomber from Moscow, I was convinced his political instincts were zero. His appointment of Fitzgerald confirms that.

Cecil Turner

In order for the tubes to be used in a Zippe type centrifuge . . .

OTOH, the table shows they fit the Beams-type centrifuges fairly well. And while I tend to agree it's not the most likely usage for the tubes, nor are they totally unsuitable (as the article implies). I'd also note that ISIS article is awfully long on politics for a scientific review (especially the conclusion, which is pure political science), and claims exactly the sort of pressure on analysts later reviews have ruled out. Its credibility suffers as a result.

I kind of find that hilarious.

I do too, but of course they're "whistleblowers" which is apparently some sort of protected species.


You all seem to forget that you're dealing with a country that buries jet fighters in 25 feet of sand and kills 20,000 prisoners when Amnesty Intl complains about prison overcrowding.

This is third world thinking and your complaining about the mm thickness of their if they knew how to do everything perfectly in a perfect world.


Kate, I'm extremely disturbed by the juxtaposition. Smells too much like 'Favored Son' to me.


The explanation for the tubes is simple. Experts disagreed vociferously, and Bush erred on the side of caution. That is emblematic of his whole way of dealing with Saddam. And now that it is proven that Saddam was a danger to us, why not show us the proof instead of dragging up dead and buried tubes, and defending the indefensible Joe? MSM has simply gotten lazy and has decided that it is easier to make up the truth than to discover and elucidate it. It is perverse and desperately pathological and the ironies and tragedies slowly build.


"That's IF they are actually trying to build a bomb. I know it's heresy, but it's not beyond the realm of reason to think they aren't building a bomb because they say they aren't building one."

Iran is one of the worlds great oil producers,it burns off more energy at the well head than could power a fair sized country.
Yes is is "beyond the realm of reason",hell it is beyond the realms of sanity.
Iran wants to be the regional superpower,the only thing that will give them that is the bomb.
Jake you have become a blight,this thread sounds like a monologue.


True and beautifully said, Kim.

Intel is always analysis and always has dissenters. The press and the real leakers have been the cherry pickers, seizing on minority views and "wrong" estimates.

The President has no choice--whoever he is--to err on the side of caution, especially when dealing with a psychopath like Saddam.They are choosing to treat this like a criminal case where having cleared the probable cause barrier the President really could act only if he had proof of all allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, and, if that standard were adopted, we'd be in big trouble.

Rick Ballard

Now, Peter somebbody has to take the terrorist slimes side. If socialist sophists choose to stand shoulder to shoulder with Tehrans murderous mullahs, why they're just holding up the proud tradition of the left wing of the Democrat Party.

I think 'Vote Democrat and Save a Mullah' is a perfectly good campaign slogan - perhaps tied to a 'Give Terrorists a Chance' theme. We'll see how it plays out in November.


I hate it when a little fun goes unnoticed.

Piss, I missed it.


Getting bloodthirsty, aren't we? Filial duty called, than which there is no higher.

Jake - but not the one

Very good, TM! :)



"Hug a Mullah" would make a good bumper sticker,not so much shoulder to shoulder,rather lips to butt.
How are you going to get all those Dems to cover their important hair with turbans? This would be particularly hard for Howdah Dudi,Tedah would simply get too confused winding one every morning

Jake - but not the one

Kim, actually, the experts don't appear to have disagreed. The non-experts said yes, these were centrifuge tubes, the experts said no, these are probably not centrifuge tubes, and oh, btw, where are the rest of the so called "centrifuge" parts?

A small point, but one worth noting.

It's a little like turning to your best friend from high school who got a degree in computer engineering and asking him if could wire your new house to code.

His best chance to actually do it right would be to go talk to an electrician. Or, if he was really smart, to say no, go hire an electrician. There's no better way to get things done right than to hire people who actually know what they are talking about.



the Feingold censure is over FISA, not the war. I believe he has lied about FISA and wiretaps. I believe he is subject to the law wrt to FISA.

Right, I was referring back to the good old days, i.e., last year, when the charge was Bush lied/manipulated/falsified pre-war intelligence.

I guess that j'accuse (okay, wrong thread for that) has disappeared into the Washington mist?

I'm curious though: If a President is advised by his DOJ and Attorney General et al. that he does have the constitutional authority to do something that violates a statute, is that a "high crime or misdemeanor" worthy of impeachment and, I assume, conviction?

In areas of unsettled law - and from what I've read the area of wiretaps and surveillance is a very nebulous one with no clear lines - do you think it's reasonable to remove the president for something that he was told he had the power to do?

If so, should Truman have been removed from office for ordering the seizure of the steel mills? Some interesting similarities between that case and the FISA controversy.

Or had the Korematsu case been decided differently, should FDR been removed as well?



SMG,I think you need an opinion letter from Lawrence Tribe and all the other prominent law professors who the SCOTUS just laughed out of court--the same professors who are on the well worn rolodex cards of the NYT's reporters under the "legal experts" tab .

Jake - but not the one

Steve, I don't know enough about those earlier issues. Truman's and FDR's reputations seem to have survived their errors of judgement, to the extent they made any.

Bush's best hope is for Iraq to turn around in a time frame for which it is possible to credit his policies for any success. Maybe then his errors of judgement won't seem so egregious. Maybe they won't even seem like errors at all.

The odds are way against him, I think.


Jake - but not the one

Oh, and clarice, thanks for answering the question re your MMFOOHA.


Jake, despite your feeble distractions about the difference between a professional electrician and a computer engineer, the fact remains that experts disagreed about the purpose and implications of the tubes. It has been amply proven in retrospect that Bush was correct to choose the safe course in dealing with Saddam.


OT: I love this headline writer's wit:"Immigration bill falls victim to politics"


Talk about coming late to the party….

Just a quick note to Jake and M. Simon concerning the other components of centrifuges, namely end caps and magnetic bearings.

End caps are easily machined using the existing Iraqi equipment purchased clandestinely prior to 1991. The Churchill/Matrix CNC lathes were fully capable of making these caps without any additional sanction-prohibited material.

The magnetic bearings posed a greater problem for the Iraqis. They instituted a program just prior to 2000 (right around the same time they were seeking “expanded trade relations” with Niger) to start a production line of AlNiCo and SmCo magnets that “could” be used for bearings in a centrifuge. However, and this should come as no shock, the Iraqis claimed the magnets were for civilian and non-nuclear military purposes.

A quick summary of the details are available at:

Of course, there is no proof that Saddam was intending to use the aluminum tubes, illegal machining capability or magnetic bearings to produce enriched uranium.

On a personal note, I would welcome the opportunity to speak with both you about some investments in the perpetual motion industry. Please contact me soon.

M. Simon


The magnet bit is interesting. Given that added fact I would alter the odds to 60-40 against. i.e. more than good enough to send the 101st,the IVth ID etc for a look see.

BTW my hobby is designing CNC machine tools.

Re- converting the tubes for centrifuges - fixturing must be really good. The balance problem is difficult at really high speed.

OTOH given the state of the Iraqi grid and the maintenance problem of 20,000 rotating machines with UF6 circulating in them I still think maraging steel is a better bet.

Well j. if you have access to capital I have a few ideas re: energy storage, that involve magnetic bearings, maraging steel, and sophisticated inverters for power conversion. Contact me by leaving a post at my www/blog site. Topic of your choice.

As to perpetual motion: to quote John Lennon: I'd love to see the plans.


I don't believe that the suitability of the aluminium tubes for use in centrifuges is neccessarily germane,it is whether Saddam Hussein thought that the tubes could be used for such purposes,and that they were purchased with that in mind.

There is a tale of the man who tried to buy an illegal pistol but got conned with a spanner in a bag,the intent is still there.

This was exactly what the UN resolutions forbade,Saddam Hussein was required to shown not only had he given up WMD but that he had also forgone the intent to acquire such weapons.


M. Simon,

The “investing in perpetual motion” crack was a feeble attempt at humor.

At the time Saddam was shipping his machine tools back to Iraq, I was trying to purchase the same machines. Back then, the number of manufacturers of large diameter CNC lathes was severely limited and I needed them for my own capitalistic endeavors.

My point from the start has been that Bush made the only acceptable decision in the post-9/11 environment, based on the available information. If people gave Bush the same benefit of a doubt they give to Saddam, there would be no disagreement to the Iraq invasion.

The real tragedy of the past few years is the stunning incompetence of the news media to get the basic facts across to the public. Between the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, the public has been so misinformed that reasoned discussion requires backtracking to day 1 in order to establish facts that should have been known from the start.


Saddam Hussein was required to show not only had he given up WMD but that he had also forgone the intent

After 10 years of trying he didn't seem to be persuaded.

Jake might trust his future to the likes of Saddam and the word of the Iranian leaders who can't wait to nuke Israel. His choice. He doesn't get to choose for the rest of us.


The "perpetual motion crack" was excellent!

Some engineers are a little "too linear".


Not me though ...


Look, it's obvious even to me that it would take a constant energy input for the effort to explain that to me.

M. Simon


I agree with your point about Bush making the right decision. It is just that the tubes look most like rocket tubes to me. Which worries me because what if the next time theexpertise is wrong in the other direction. Like the "Iran is 10 years from a bomb" joke.

BTW all you literal thinkers missed my little - "please send me the prints" joke re: perpetual motion. Ah, well.

And I am serious about energy storage.



Arguendo: Firearms are prohibited on school grounds. A known gang member is caught in school with a cell-phone-gun. The cell phone “antenna” is a titanium tube capable of firing a single 22 round.

In court the gang member’s attorney tells the judge: “The defendant had no intention of using his cell phone as a weapon. I have expert testimony that the item in question has very poor ballistics, is difficult to fire and nearly impossible to aim accurately.”

The expert is technically correct, but the legal and logical argument is beyond stupid.


But not-the-senator,

You and some Senators do need to be surveiled.



Your response overlooks one significant fact. That is, if you are wrong, your point has obviously been moot all along. Get serious. Open your aperture.



So, when we find them (evidence of WMDs) transported to Syria or elsewhere, as has been rumored, what's your point mean?

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